Nola Ismajlovska Starova is the latest member of the splinter group of VMRO-DPMNE members of Parliament who voted to rename Macedonia to enable patronage for a close relative of hers as part of the reward package for her vote.

Starova’s mother in law Maja Starova was promoted to acting principal of the Jan Amos Komenski elementary school in Skopje’s Karpos area, the Lider news site reported.

Previously, her colleague Emilija Aleksandrova had her daughter hired in the Innovations Fund, a public institution which was criticized in the past year for giving grants to companies owned by SDSM party officials and journalists close to the Government. Zekir Ramcilovic, another member of the group, had his wife employed in the Interior Ministry.

A total of nine members of Parliament from VMRO-DPMNE voted to rename Macedonia into North Macedonia – most of them did so after facing politically driven criminal charges and at least three of them negotiated amnesties shortly before the final vote. In the other cases public contracts were also awarded to companies close to them in the run up to the vote.

The ruling coalition is engulfed in a major nepotism scandal as every day brings new cases of relatives of Government officials that were hired in the public sector or Government managed companies to the light. But the cases of the nine former VMRO members of Parliament are especially jarring to both sides of the political divide.

Prime Minister Zaev was forced by the public outrage to order some of his party officials to have their relatives resign from the newly acquired posts in the public service, but these cases have been swamped by the reports of new, additional cases of nepotism.